A job where they had free beer on Fridays. Free video games handed out by our administrative assistant. A job where a person can be "working" by playing with a big Xbox and TV sitting on their desk.

Yep, the days (daze?) of XNA Community Games are behind me. I've gone over to the Dark Side. I work for Stefan.  I flipped over from engineering to...dun...dun...dun.....marketing/communications.

This change was not without drama. Frank Savage sat me down and schooled me one last time in Star Trek lore so I wouldn't forget where I came from. I've discovered there are some swear words they say in Xbox they just don't say in PR. And, of course, I had to give my beloved covered-with-crumbs Xbox 360 back to Vern, along with my monitor and TV.

But the new gig is going to be cool for these reasons:

- You. This new  job is about listening to you, meeting you at conferences, hearing what you have to say on blogs, twitter, facebook, etc. If I don't seem to be listening, click the email link on this blog and kick my ass. It's my job to be there for you. I'm accountable, and I'm not going anywhere. The developer denizens of the dearly departed Gotdotnet know this part of my drill, but I literally lose sleep over community issues. Tell me what's on your mind.

- Change. If I do the first bullet item right, then both of these online products are going to change in the ways that you want them to. It helps that I used to be on the product team in Live Search (though admittedly in the Live QnA part). I still think like a Web program manager and I know about the cycle by which Web sites get built. There are some excuses that won't slip by me.

- Outings.  Don't look now, but I think they may let me out of Redmond more often. This tracks back again to the first bullet point, but it means I get to emerge a bit from the Redmond bubble and see the real world. I'll be seeing you all at South by Southwest Interactive (one of my favorite conferences) and Mix09 (which I've oddly enough never been to).

A couple of us will be manning the twitterphone but check out the new official location... Live Search on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Live_Search .

I'll be working on my wisdom.

More to come...live it vivid!